So I have a Pi 4 and an official touchscreen and I'm building a portable device to run retropie. I got a heatsink/fan combo which is about as tall as the USBs on the pi and I've ordered a Pi Juice HAT to power it but I don't think I'll be able to put the juice on top of the fan so I was looking at 40 pin GPIO ribbon cables so that I could have the pi and the juice side by side (which would work better in the case that I am having 3d printed).

Is this possible/advisable? I have looked around and it seems to be a good solution for other HATs but I am not sure if it will be good for a power source, also I am unsure if I need male to male, male to female, or a female to female cable.

3 Answers 3


I'm using this solution, don't know if it can work for you too: ribbon cable connection (female-female) pijuice gui I've added 2 connectors (male-female) on top of the existing pins, and the a straight ribbon cable (I checked the pins where not mixed). enter image description here Just be careful to not mix the pins.

  • That looks great, thanks! I think we have the exact same heatsink/fan so this is very helpful! Jul 7, 2020 at 10:25

Especially in case of Pi Juice you should not be using an FFC cable. It has tiny wires in it, designed for a few hundred milliamps at best. A Pi 4 needs more current just in idle state, and shutting down is far from idle!

If you feel like trying anyway, get a cable which is as short as possible. Clearly, I'm surprised to see that @FlavioG managed to get it working with such a long cable, he obviously got one with good wires in it. Of course, there will be even less chances of success if you have external hardware connected to the Pi.


Simple answer NO!

If you use a cable the pins will be reversed.

If the HAT has male pins on top it would be OK.

There are no extension cables available (at least I could not find any).

I had a similar situation with an older Pi and a Gertboard. I managed to solder a male socket on top - this is quite challenging!

I use old PATA HDD cables - if you go this way make sure you don't use one with 80 wires - they will short out the Pi.


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